Empty homes, empty claims

Letter to the editor
The Age

How are the real estate spruikers going to explain away Melbourne’s reported rental vacancy rate of 4.4% (“Melbourne Full of Empty Homes” Age 26/1/12)? Developer lobbyists were crying for new land releases when vacancy rates were low to provide affordable (read “isolated and without infrastructure”) housing, so what’s the team line now?

As reported vacancy rates exclude empty homes not on the rental market, it’s anyone’s guess what the real rate is. Ken Henry’s tax review called for a proper land tax to force empty homes onto the market, but as long as homes are viewed as an investment opportunity rather than a place to live then a land tax isn’t going to happen.

Karl Williams, Tecoma


  1. kika02-02-2012

    Great letter Karl! Now our frantic government is advertising in the Malaysian ‘Straits Times’ for applications for new homeowner grants:

    Malaysian investors are being lured into the Melbourne property market with advertisements promising taxpayer-funded first home owner grants. New-home grants are being offered to Malaysian buyers whose adult children are permanent residents.

    The ads are appearing in the “New Straits Times”, demonstrating the ‘desperate straits’ of our government in their frantic efforts to prevent the oz property bubble from exploding.

    Meanwhile, According to SQM research, Melbourne’s rental vacancy rate surged 1 percent in December to a 6 year high of 4.4 percent as the city deals with an oversupply of residental property. There are now 16,000 rental properties sitting empty. http://www.whocrashedtheeconomy.com/

    Contact these MP’s to express your thoughts.
    Robert McClelland, Federal Minister for Housing (& Homelessness)
    Kelly O’Dwyer, Federal Member for Higgins
    Micheal O’Brien, State MP for Malvern

  2. Karl Fitzgerald
    Karl Fitzgerald02-02-2012

    Excellent work Kika,
    thxs for the heads up on the FHOG. Let us pray PM Gillard doesnt become so desperate to save ANY chance of re-election that she re-introduces the Sellers Subsidy AKA FHOG.

    Our 5th Speculative Vacancies report coming up soon will no doubt prove even more empty homes for subsidised speculators.

  3. kika09-02-2012

    Detroit squatters may be allowed to keep foreclosed homes

    Will we in Australia be seeing something like this soon?

    “More than 6,000 Detroit homes, foreclosed because taxes weren’t paid, didn’t sell at auction last fall. The county treasurer’s office doesn’t want to see them abandoned and is willing to negotiate with anyone living inside, including owners who no longer have a right to the property…..”


  4. Karl Fitzgerald10-02-2012

    An outrageous sheriff’s sale occurred in my neighbourhood today….sold for $1000 tho the land alone worth $400K. Something fishy.


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